Personal finance goes digital

81% of consumers in Thailand now managing personal finances digitally, according to Mastercard. Thai consumers are typically more enthusiastic about using digital forms of payments than the average for Asia, according to Mastercard. Most Thai consumers have now gone digital when it comes to managing a range of personal financial matters, including paying bills, banking, opening new bank accounts and financial planning, a Mastercard survey has found.Based on the Mastercard New Payments Index 2022, 81% of consumers in the country have used digital tools for at least one financial task in the last year, with paying bills (78%), banking (75%) and opening new bank accounts (64%) forming the top three. The latest data on payment habits, attitudes and preferences was derived from a survey of 40 markets across five regions, including seven in Asia-Pacific: Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam. Interestingly, when it came to personal financial management, the survey found that Thai consumers were typically more enthusiastic about using digital forms of payments than the regional average. This same enthusiasm extended to Thai consumers’ broader use of payments, with 94% having used at least one digital payment method such as digital wallets, QR codes, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL), cryptocurrencies, biometrics and others in the last year, compared to the Asia-Pacific average of 88%. As well, 80% of Thai consumers increased their usage of at least one digital payment method during the same period, demonstrating momentum. “Although digitisation brings a broad array of benefits — greater access to e-commerce, more economic transparency, more security — in many ways it is in the everyday tasks where it makes a big difference,” said Aileen Chew, country manager for Thailand and Myanmar at Mastercard. “In recent years, Thai consumers have increased their use of digital payment options, often showing high engagement with new and emerging technologies. The survey results indicate that this convenience extends beyond payments, and now includes daily personal financial management, demonstrating the pervasiveness of digital technology in their everyday lives.”This change is a positive sign for the continued digitization of the economy, and will help to spur long term, sustainable growth in Thailand.”When asked about their reasons for using digital methods to pay bills, convenience was the top response (85%) from Thai consumers, followed by the fact that it was seen as more secure or safe (61%), and that it gave consumers more control over their money (56%).However, concerns remain about security , indicating an opportunity for service providers to offer consumers additional education and reassurance.Thai consumers are also among the most enthusiastic in the region about using emerging p ayment technologies, with digital wallets leading (63%), followed by account-to-account payments (55%) and QR codes (54%), the survey found. Also notable is that Thai consumers have been strong adopters of cryptocurrencies, with 25% using them to pay in the last year, compared to the regional average of 13%.

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